Nagle Warren Mansion Short History
A short history of the Nagle Warren Mansion 1888 to now
HISTORY (short) OF THE NAGLE WARREN MANSION
The Nagle Warren Mansion was built by Erasmus Nagle in 1888. It is one of the few remaining fine homes built during the 1880s, when Cheyenne was the richest city, of its size, in the world.
Mr. Nagle came to Cheyenne in 1867 to engage in the grocery business. He had previously been a merchant in the mining towns of the Colorado Rockies. His business in Cheyenne grew to become one of the most extensive in the Territory of Wyoming, Colorado, western Nebraska, western South Dakota and a tip of North Dakota. His business interests became quite diverse and he was also a key player in expansion into the Black Hills when gold was discovered there.
As a citizen of Cheyenne, Mr. Nagle held a number of civic offices, including commissioner of the Capitol Building Committee. It was then that he built the mansion, utilizing the services of the architect who was engaged for the state capitol building. The stone used on the exterior of the mansion had been rejected by the contractor for the State Capitol Building. The completed residence cost $50,000. This figure included all details, equipment and furnishings.
Unfortunately, Mr. Nagle was alive to enjoy his mansion for only about two years. He died of peritonitis leaving a wife, Emma Jane (Houseman) and a son, George. The Nagles rented the property to General George Randall, from 1907 – 1910.
In April 1910, the property at 222 East 17th Street, was sold to Senator F.E. Warren and his second wife, the former Clara La Baron Morgan, purchased the home. Upon Senator Warren’s death in 1929, Clara gave the mansion to the YWCA, fully furnished, for use as chaperoned housing for single women and a social place for the people of Cheyenne. It was during the “Y” period that the building contractor’s words proved true and the soft stone exterior began to crumble. In order to preserve the building it was covered in stucco around 1960. Don and Barbara Sullivan purchased the house in 1985 and raised a family in the home. The home was then sold to Jim Osterfoss in 1997, at which time it was turned into a bed and breakfast.
The mansion has many elegant features, suitable for its location on Cattle Baron’s Row. Those of special note include the Moorish style tile of the vestibule floor, the original Moroccan chandelier in the entry hall, the carved leather ceilings, original stained glass and crystal windows, cherry paneling in the foyer, parquet floors throughout the first floor, two cast brass fireplaces with mirrors to the ceilings, a marble fireplace and impressive oak woodwork in the dining room, library and sitting room. Details worthy of particular note are the bronze medallions set in the front doors and newel posts, elaborate detail on the door knobs and hinges, oak galleries over the dining room windows, and two large paintings in the parlour that Mrs. Nagle commissioned for the house when it was new.
The carriage house was originally the stable for the mansion. It was built to accommodate four carriages, a four-horse stable, a tack room, hayloft and a groom’s room which served two people. There was also an area on the main level in which horses were hitched, unhitched and washed. When automobiles came on the scene, the north door on House Street side, was widened and a mechanic’s pit was added. In 1934 the YWCA installed a dance floor and stage. Later storage was added in the back of the building with a small kitchen, bath and dressing room behind the stage. During that period it was known as the “Y Playhouse” and was used by many community groups for dances, classes, meetings, church services and other events. Behind the carriage house is the original stone smoke house.
The mansion has twelve guest rooms, each with its own bathroom. Six rooms are in the main house and six are located in the Carriage House, which is now connected to the main house. The third floor tower room and snuggery are available for guest use, as is the workout room on the garden level. Public areas of the home include the Parlour, Sitting Room, Dining Room and Library as well as three conference rooms on the garden level. The grounds include a hot tub room, patio, fountain, and gardens.